The Simushir Island Incident

Fiction - Military
488 Pages
Reviewed on 03/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Marc Liebman never ceases to enthrall readers with the way he weaves his gripping military plots and provides historical information about his settings for an additional treat. In The Simushir Island Incident, Admiral Kim Sun Pak and General Chun Lee Jang, both in the service of Supreme North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, are in cahoots operating the production of high-grade heroin that they sell to the United States. Although they are a part of their Dear Leader’s grand plan to destroy America, no one knows what is running in the mind of their Dear Leader. High-ranking North Korean officials are being accused of treason and it is only a matter of time before their own heads roll. Their solution to prevent jeopardizing their operations: Rent Simushir Island from Russia, where they can set up their heroin factory and conceal its true capacity by disguising it as a maritime base for merchant shipping. But as Kim Jong-Il’s mind is unpredictable, he uses the island as a storage facility for chemical and nuclear warheads. More trouble ensues when an American reconnaissance plane is shot down by a missile fired from the island. Enter Operation Glass Carat, where Josh Haman and Marty Cabot take a sneak peek at the island and must find a way to shut down the North Korean operation before it precipitates another world war.

The Simushir Island Incident is a compelling story of power, betrayal, and greed, and how people serving an oppressive regime will do everything at their disposal to get a taste of the good life. From its opening pages, when you are introduced to the major players, you get a sense that they are complex characters that will give Josh Haman a very challenging time. At the same time, when you ponder life in North Korea, you somehow cannot blame Pak's and Jang’s intentions, for they are merely puppets who choose to risk their own necks to get a better life. Tension further mounts as Haman and Cabot step into the scene that entices you to find out if Haman will follow strict orders or find his own way to shut down the North Koreans. Marc Liebman is consistent in writing a fast-paced military action-adventure with realistic dangers. You should be thankful that it is only a work of fiction, but it is irresistible because the tension and crisis that it tackles are not far from happening.

K.C. Finn

The Simushir Island Incident is a work of fiction in the military thriller, action, and intrigue sub-genres, and was penned by author Marc Liebman. The work is intended for the mature reading audience and contains some use of explicit language throughout. We find ourselves once again with the dynamic pairing of Josh Haman and Marty Cabot as a North Korean drug operation on the titular Simushir Island soon turns deadly when a missile fired from the island hits an American recon aircraft. As tensions rise and the dreaded words ‘World War Three’ are whispered, it’s up to Josh and Marty to head an operation and shut down the island before chaos truly ensues.

Fans of the other works of author Marc Liebman will no doubt already know of the high level of detail, strategy, and atmospheric mood that he works into his novels, and this one is no exception. What impressed me especially about this work was the balance between the smaller details concerning the island and this specific operation versus the literal weight of the world on the protagonists’ shoulders. The juxtaposition created some fantastic tension hanging over their every decision and made the tactical choices they make all the more intriguing and satisfying. The dialogue was also highly effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst moving the plot forward in a natural way, without too much prose-based exposition. Overall, I would highly recommend The Simushir Island Incident to fans of thrilling plotlines, detailed tactical operations, and for military fiction readers everywhere.

Romuald Dzemo

The Simushir Island Incident by Marc Liebman is a well-written novel that will appeal to fans of military fiction, and while it follows an unusually interesting drug trade, it captures contemporary geopolitical tensions in a vivid manner. Two North Korean officers, Admiral Pak and General Jang, head an operation for the production of high-grade heroin known as Asian Pure, which is sold in the United States. The market is very lucrative as the drug is in high demand. With officials being accused of treason and executed, Pak and Jang must find a way to win trust from their dictator. So, they rent Simushir Island from Russia, a strategic move that allows them to manufacture the drug closer to their target market and at a lower cost. The events that follow are provocative and they pit the US against North Korea in tension that can lead to another World War.

The novel is well-plotted and I loved the way Marc Liebman handles the conflict. The writing is highly descriptive and the author translates the proverbial conflict between the US and North Korea into a plot that is engaging and filled with twists. The story has strong plot points, intense action, and moments of conflict. When Kim Jong-Il, the leader of North Korea, decides to install a ballistic missile launch facility on the island, everything changes. When an American Electronic Reconnaissance Aircraft is shot down by a missile fired from Simushir Island, Josh Haman, Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans for the Pacific Coast's Seventh Fleet, knows it is time to shut down the island. But can he and his team do this without escalating the crisis into a full-blown global war? The Simushir Island Incident is deft and balanced, written in beautiful prose and featuring well-drawn and elaborately developed characters. It is fast-paced, action-packed, and a perfect read for fans of military thrillers.

Steven Robson

The Simushir Island Incident: A Josh Haman Novel by Marc Liebman moves us to the 1990s where we join a sweeping International conspiracy rooted in drugs, money, power, and corruption. The focal point of this maelstrom is Kim Jong-II, the despot in control of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; a hypocrite laced with suspicion, seeking power and money at any cost. When Simushir Island is leased from the Russians and occupied by North Korean Special Forces, this sends warning bells ringing throughout the International community and propels Josh and his associates onto the trails of those with plans that threaten not just the fabric of society, but world peace. In a deadly pursuit of the truth, to prevent these men of evil from accomplishing their goals, good people will be lost and souls corrupted as Captain Haman guides his navy to an ultimate confrontation with a foe operating beyond normal reason. The implications of failure will reverberate around the world.

Marc Liebman has crafted yet another wonderful, fast-paced, action-adventure story. This is a story with many layers, where subplots are woven cleverly into the mainstream of the story, and each one becomes more compelling as it evolves. Interspersed throughout by informative technical information, operating procedures, and protocols, the net effect is to fully immerse the reader in the positions of the specialists playing out their roles in this cracking ride. Combined with sublime character building, a well-thought-out story arc, and at times subtle humor, the end result will leave you breathless from the action that is The Simushir Island Incident.

Rabia Tanveer

The Simushir Island Incident by Marc Liebman is the story of Josh Haman as he does his best not to start World War III. Something strange is happening on Simushir Island, and it was Josh Haman's task to find out what it was. It all started when an American aircraft was struck by a missile fired from Simushir Island. Josh, now Chief of Staff for Operations and Plants for the Seventh Fleet, and Marty Cabot had to figure out what was happening and why their aircraft was targetted. However, the deeper Josh looked, the more he realized things weren’t as simple as they seemed. The mysterious happenings on the island were about to get worse and Josh had to figure out a way to stop them from escalating before it was too late. One misstep and everyone would pay a hefty price. What will Josh do?

As expected, author Marc Liebman told an intricate story that had me hooked from the very beginning. I loved how with each new installment the author makes his stories more complex without confusing readers. The mystery behind Simushir Island and its involvement in the plot was very well handled. I loved the way the author introduced action into the story, made it an integral part of the plot, and allowed me to simply immerse myself in the story. Josh, as always, led the story from the front. He was clinical in his approach; he kept a keen eye on the situation and worked well with Marty to figure out what was going on. The pace was perfect, the narrative was incredible, and everything meshed well right to the end.